Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

One Mom, 569 Miles

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

One Mom, 569 Miles

Article excerpt

My plan to walk from San Diego to San Francisco evolved from a very simple thought: Three years ago I let a man reenter a line for coffee, and I thought, He has no idea that a lesbian was nice to him today. It was in a bookstore that I first said, "Just remember, a lesbian spent money here today." I felt empowered. I started doing it more and more. Another time my car had broken down, and I was having a horrible day. The way I feel better is by doing something empowering, so I told the tow truck driver, "You helped out a lesbian today," and he replied, "Hey, it's cool--gay, lesbian, we're all people."

No one has ever said anything negative to me, but I'm sensitive to the fact that I am "familiar" in suburbia--what could be safer than a soccer mom? I call myself a soccer mom, though I've really had only one kid play soccer. There is swim team, Little League, gymnastics, theater, piano, and clarinet, however, and for a single mother of four kids, that's a lot.

Everyone assumes there are no gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender people in suburban areas like mine, 30 miles north of San Diego, so I wear a button that says I'M GAYER THAN I LOOK. I'm aware that not everyone can come out so easily--not that it's ever really easy, even for me--but if I can be an out lesbian in conservative Republican-voting Escondido and still be a carpool mom, be backstage at junior theater, and help out at swim meets, it's clear there's a lot of untapped support out here.

I decided to walk 569 miles up the coast of California to give even more people the opportunity to say "I'm supportive. …

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